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  • Heroes honored

    042921 baby save 2COURTESY PHOTO Coldspring VFD Chief Emmitt Eldridge presents Paramedic Kristin Loftice with a Lifesaver’s Award for his help with the delivery of a baby.

    Coldspring paramedics receive lifesaving awards

    By Tony Farkas

    COLDSPRING — Two paramedics with the Coldspring Volunteer Fire Department were honored with lifesaving awards recently.

    Kristin Loftice and Timothy King helped with the birth of a child, who was in danger because the umbilical cord had wrapped around its neck, on the side of FM 3081 near Willis on Nov. 26, 2020.

    The mother and child were not identified for privacy reasons; and King was out on a medical leave.

    “We got a call at around 4 a.m. for a lady in labor,” Loftice said. “By the time we got there, the Punkin-Evergreen VFD was there, and had her laying down on a pallet because she was going through contractions. I was trying to calm her down as she was pretty hysterical and hurting, and I tried to get her to not push so we could transport her to the hospital.”

    While prepping the woman for transport, she did a hard push and the baby’s head had crowned, so Loftice told her partner to get the OB kit because a baby was on the way — in the dark, in a driveway, and just flashlights for light.

    It wasn’t only the conditions that were a problem; the birth was a problem as well.

    “When the baby’s head came out, I noticed the baby was blue, and I felt around and found the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck,” she said. “I had gotten my fingers in and was able to spread out the cord, and at that time, the baby started to move its mouth.

    042921 baby save 1COURTESY PHOTO Coldspring VFD Chief Emmitt Eldridge presents Paramedic Timothy King with a Lifesaver’s Award for his help with the delivery of a baby.

    “I told mom to push and let’s get the baby the rest of the way out; I was able to guide the baby out (of the birth canal) so the umbilical cord didn’t wrap any tighter,” Loftice said. “King took care of the mother and prepared her for transport; I took the baby into the ambulance and began taking care of it. The baby then started crying, and he pinked up very good, and he started trying to feed on the way to the hospital.”

    In the end, they delivered a strong, healthy boy.

    “We got them to a hospital and everything turned out great,” she said. “Mom and baby checked out OK. My first baby delivery, and with it being one with an umbilical cord wrapped around the neck, it was scary, I’m not gonna lie. But I went with my gut and my training and toughened up. Still, it was intense.”

    There was a point that Loftice had questioned her career choice, having seen quite a lot of bad things as a paramedic. However, birthing a child has given her a new outlook.

    “That, as well as helping people, is why I got into paramedic work,” she said. “It warms my heart up. It’s why I’m here and do what I do. Bringing a life into the world, instead of trying to keep it from going out, was a breath of fresh air, a big change.”

    Loftice keeps tabs on the family, and said that all reports indicate mother and son are doing fine.

  • VFD trading up on vehicles

    042921 new trucks 1TONY FARKAS | SJNT Firefighter Clint Jones puts a shine on the new First Responder vehicle for the Coldspring Volunteer Fire Department.

    By Tony Farkas

    COLDSPRING — The Coldspring Volunteer Fire Department is getting new vehicles to help its mission

    Emmitt Eldridge, CVFD fire chief, said the City of Coldspring saw a need with a growing population to have more vehicles to respond to medical calls.

    Currently, the FD has three ambulances, one being repaired after an accident.

    “This county is growing,” Eldridge said. “We do have a First Responder program in the county, but the city started one, and we told them we need some vehicles. It’s a wonderful thing, seeing all the entities in the county getting together to provide the residents with what they need.”

    The first vehicle the department received is a first responder/transport vehicle, meaning it can both arrive at a destination ready to aid, or transport firefighters to where they are needed.

    The department also received a small brush truck from the county Emergency Services District Board.

    Eldridge said the department will receive a similar vehicle, an F-150, from San Jacinto County, which will arrive in July; also, the county and the Texas Forestry Service, through a grant, will provide the department with a large brush truck in the near future.

    “Before getting this vehicle, we had a ‘03 F-450 that had a lot of issues,” he said. “Every year, it seems we get more grass fires, and with the truck we had, we couldn’t get anywhere.

    “Last year, before receiving the vehicles, the company had to walk three miles to fight a brush fire in the woods, with only the hand tools they could carry, because the vehicle could not make it,” Eldridge said.

    In order to show the new direction of the Fire Department, the logo has been changed slightly to reflect the Coldspring mascot, the Trojan.

    “We are big on community, going to schools and doing education, and implementing an explorer program,” Eldridge said.

    He said the department is very appreciative of the city and county.

    “Everything the county and city has done for us has been tremendous,” he said.